Friday, July 29, 2011

Line by Line - Verse 38, Line 17

Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder;
~ James Legge translation, from The Sacred Books of the East, 1891 ~

Now ritual is the husk of faith and loyalty, the beginning of confusion.
~ Gia-fu Feng and Jane English translation, published by Vintage Books, 1989 ~

Those who have etiquette
are a thin shell of loyalty and sincerity
And the beginning of chaos

~ Derek Lin translation, from Tao Te Ching: Annotated & Explained, published by SkyLight Paths, 2006 ~

Righteousness is a pale imitation
of true faith and loyalty,
and always leads to trouble.

~ Ron Hogan rendition, from, 2004 ~
When all a person is left with is smug self-righteousness and ritual or etiquette, they become an impossible boor to be around. Such people lack any semblance of compassion and humility. He or she must be the center of attention at all times and such people go to great lengths to keep the spotlight on themselves.

To view the Index page for this series to see what you may have missed or would like to read again, go here.

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